Summit of experts and leaders call for new national strategy to stop alcohol harm

Thursday 30 October, 2014


The National Alliance for Action on Alcohol (NAAA) has welcomed the call from this week's national summit of experts and leaders for a new national alcohol strategy to address Australia's harmful drinking culture.

The Australian Medical Association's (AMA) national alcohol summit held in Canberra over the past two days has brought together representatives from all tiers of government, community leaders, medical and health experts, police, families of victims, and other stakeholders to develop practical measures and enduring solutions.

Professor Mike Daube, Co-Chair of the NAAA said "We congratulate the AMA for its leadership in hosting this historic summit which has culminated in recommendations for a new national alcohol strategy to stop the harm caused by alcohol in Australia."

"However the strategy must translate into real action by governments, not further delays or compromises which ultimately costs thousands of lives," Prof Daube said.

"All Australians are affected in some way by the negative effects of alcohol. We know what the cause of the problems are and we know what the effective solutions are. We now need action", Prof Daube said.

  • Alcohol kills one Australian teenager every week.
  • 41% of domestic assaults are alcohol related.
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the most common preventable cause of developmental disability in Australia.
  • Alcohol hospitalises Indigenous Australians at 4 times the rate of non-Indigenous Australians.
  • 3 in 4 Australians believe our community has a drinking problem.

Professor Daube said "Every day, alcohol is responsible for the deaths of 15 Australians, and the worst thing about this tragedy is that most of the harm is preventable."

Some clear priorities for government action have emerged from the summit, including: reform of the alcohol tax system, protecting young people from alcohol advertising, and a comprehensive awareness campaign about the health risks of alcohol.

"These are all evidence-based strategies that the NAAA supports because they can significantly reduce alcohol related harm in Australia," Professor Daube said.